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Can E-Learning Replace Classroom Learning?

Online education has many stereotypes about it. People often think that online students are not smart enough for our usual college or university education. They are lazy and do not get “real” degrees. These thoughts discourage many people from taking online courses, so they get stuck in the traditional educational system, which wastes a lot of money, nerves and years of their lives.

Let’s look closer at the benefits and disadvantages of online learning that can make you reconsider your attitude towards this type of e-business.

What are the advantages of online learning?

1. You can learn whatever you want!

The mobile e-learning market surpassed $38 billion by the end of 2021. With online courses, you can take any program or course at traditional four-year universities. 

For example, if you are interested in neuroscience, all it takes is a Google search for such an online course and you will easily find online programs offered by some of the most prestigious universities from around the world. You can take such a course even if you have no desire to apply this knowledge in your future profession, but you are just interested in discovering new interests and understanding how the human brain works. The wide variety of online programs and courses is a tremendous advantage of this type of education. No matter where you live and what you want to study, you can always find the right course or even a degree program that you can follow from home.

2. Comfort

Forget about having to attend classes for hours, sit in an uncomfortable chair and suffer from back pain by the end of the day. All lectures and required materials are provided through online platforms, so you can easily access them from the comfort of your home. Public transportation won’t get you to campus. You won’t have to spend money on gas for your car. You won’t have to get up early to get dressed for class, etc.

Comfort is a strong advantage in the age of rising online education, but it can go both ways. You shouldn’t let yourself get too comfortable when studying at home, so it’s best to leave the couch for a few hours a day and create an inspiring study environment in your home. All you need is a large table and a nice comfortable chair. Some online platforms we’re working with, like CG Master Academy, have convenient built-in academic calendars that allow you to plan your schedule:

academic-calendar-online-courses

3. Online courses look great on resumes

It doesn’t matter where your career is right now; an online program will always look good on your resume. This will show potential employers that you are eager to learn and want to gain more knowledge and new skills. By earning a good certificate or diploma after online training, you are sure to be a better candidate for a promotion and your resume will look much better when you apply for a new position or vacancy.

4. Self-study

When you browse interesting online courses and programs, you will see the Self-Paced label on most of them. What does it mean? Self-paced learning means that students start tasks ‌and they create a learning schedule that suits their individual needs. When you go to college, you can forget about work, hobbies and even family. Under such conditions, studying is a priority. Therefore, many single parents and working people choose to forget all about their dreams in order to get a higher degree. 

The self-learning system allows them to progress at a pace that suits them. This type of system does not require lecture attendance; You can access the materials at any time convenient for you. If you have to work or take care of your home and children during the day, you can study at night. This is an advantage that the education system we are accustomed to cannot surpass.

5. Cost reduction

According to Skill Scouter, 40% of Fortune 500 companies use e-learning and a correlation between eLearning usage and successful companies.

The fact that online programs are cheaper than those offered at colleges or institutes is enough to convince you to consider them. The average fee for online courses depends on several factors, so it varies from one program to another. We’ve saved the best part for last: many online courses are completely free. For example, MIT offers all course materials online at no cost. Free courses rarely come with a certificate of completion, but they are still more than useful for those who want to learn from prestigious educators. Online courses and programs are more convenient and cheaper than their counterparts in traditional education. 

The best thing about online learning is that you can learn at ease. All you need is a passion for learning and a good internet connection to get you on the right course.

online-class-illustration

Illustration by Liubov Dronova

What’s Wrong With E-Learning Platforms?

1. Lack of social interaction. E-learning has yet to ‌imitate it.

The way e-learning platforms have tried to recreate the social aspects of a classroom is with tools like messaging boards, video chats, chatbots, and streaming services. They grant students the opportunity to talk with teachers and peers about their homework. Of course, this doesn’t replace talking with peers or having a teacher know your name, especially in MOOCs.

2. Some users can’t or won’t work with online tools

When teachers/other “offline specialists” switch from an offline format to an online one, they may not figure out how to work on the learning platform and other programs necessary for learning the first time. For example, how to work with Google Docs and in a video editor, how to create presentations. This lawyer got stuck with a cat filter during a virtual court case:

For effective learning, you need a stable Internet connection and the correct operation of programs and devices. Sometimes there are technical failures that an unprepared person cannot handle.

3. Difficulty retaining attention and engaging students

When learning takes place online, teachers most rarely have visual contact with students. They  cannot assess the level of their attention and involvement‌. Because of this, it’s difficult to make sure that the students are immersed in the material, understand it and have no questions left.

It is important to learn how to manage the attention of a remote audience, emotionally, involve listeners in your story, and explain the material in such a way that you can be heard and understood. To get such a skill, study the list of books on distance learning and select the appropriate literature.

The online learning method can be a very effective alternative learning method for mature, self-disciplined and motivated students who are well organized and good at managing their time. But this learning environment is inappropriate for dependents and dependent people. Online courses require independence.

comfortable online education

Illustration by Liubov Dronova

What’s Wrong With Traditional Classrooms?

In a traditional classroom, educators will tell you they need to be on their toes, trying to engage their students at every moment. But students don’t always cooperate — maybe they’re bored, zoned out, or too focused on the sun outside to pay attention to a lesson.

That lack of engagement is a challenge for students as well. Despite these problems, once the teacher and the student meet in the middle and find that engagement, it’s magic. Being surrounded by like-minded people, actively taking part with peers, and seeing students come alive once things click is a social energy you can’t replace — even with AI.

e-learning-web platform conference

Illustration by Liubov Dronova

How Does The Future Classroom Look Like?

According to Statista, the global e-learning market is expected to grow to over $243 billion by the end of 2022:

statista e-learning market

According to Quora’s answers from teachers, online tools give them precise, clear-cut feedback on how a student is engaging with material. They can see where students get lost in a lesson and grade assignments with the click of a button.

If a platform could actually cater content and interaction around the individual user — their speed, their interests, their location — then e-learning could give them the ability to learn whatever they want, from wherever they want. E-learning tools provide educators and students with access to resources they wouldn’t have had otherwise, no matter their status or location. 

This is where e-learning and the traditional classroom will one day form a union: compensating for one where the other lacks. While e-learning won’t replace traditional classrooms, it will change the way we know them today. Not so long ago, we implemented online streaming rooms for one of our clients, Proko. It’s kind of like a private Discord. A teacher can organize a video call inside the web platform, add students and other administrators, and interact with the screen, adding texts, videos and pictures. It’s like a private TV, but with the ability to stream your class on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, etc.:

proko shakuro

With improved resources and reduced teacher workloads, classrooms can shift to co-learning spaces. Students can arrive, learn, engage — all at their own pace in a collaborative environment. 

And that’s the true goal of education:
to create the best environment for students to learn.

How does e-learning work? See our reads on e-learning app development:

Every e-learning app or web platform has to be unique to appeal to the audience so that people would relate to it. Anyone who wants to scale their brand should take a closer look at such an opportunity. This is a great time to share information and experience in your field. Contact us, so we can lead you every step of the way.

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Written by Rita Kind-Envy

March 03, 2022